PLIX Sonic Seasoning: Adventures in Beta Testing

In the development of several PLIX activities, we were afforded the opportunity to test out the materials and prompts that we had developed by running in-person playtests with local library partners or with small groups of librarians. These playtests were critical in iterating on our activites, helping to refine learning materials and content that we shared with the broader PLIX community.

We’ll be teaming up with librarians @clarahendricks and @Saffana from the Cambridge Public Library, and @amitchell of Somerville Public Library to test out the brand new Sonic Seasoning activity! **:sparkles: :ear: :popcorn:

Jan 11, 2023 Update: Please join us in a second round of beta-testing and remixing with @Lesa_Cole @Padug @jdelacruz @pdavislibrarian @bmgutierrez1 @ducktapegurl @RWorthy @beth.anderson !!

On this thread, you’ll be hearing from the PLIX beta-testing team, who will be sharing reflections about the playtesting process, ideas for refining or creating new learning materials for Sonic Seasoning, and tinkering with activity prompts and exploring new ones through remixes!

Want to join in on the fun?! Feel free to chime in and experiment with the beta-testing team!


Hi @ada , can you check the link? Looking forward to checking this out :smiley:

@SashaN Oops, my fault. We haven’t created it yet! This discussion thread is where the magic will happen. :magic_wand:

Would you like to be part of the beta-testing?

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Oh wow! This is a food themed beta test? I’m really excited to hear more about it once you all get started.

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Hi all! So far we’re very much just entering the playtesting stage of this project. One of the things that I’ve been toying with is the idea of a take-away/creative element. I’m thinking of a tool that could measure the enjoyment of food (with the variable being changing the element of sound while eating). A joy-ometer? An enjoyment reader? Could be as simple as a range of colors on a strip of paper, or something more complex… I’d love to hear ideas!


Also, suggestions for a good, crunchy/crispy, allergen-friendly snack? We need something that will make a great sound when chewing!

One of my favorite snacks is seaweed sheets! :drooling_face: But the crunch part of the eating is very short. I’ll have to ruminate on it.

Current thinking is Fritos! Only 3 ingredients

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For the low-tech version of this activity, we are proposing eating chips in three ways. 1 - just plan eating them! 2 - with earplugs in and 3 - with the eyes closed.

Which experience will people enjoy the most? They’ll be recording their enjoyment on a measurement tool that they create out of craft materials.

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Hi everyone :wave:

We had a blast last Thursday at our beta-testing workshop! We tried a variety of ways to change our perception of sound while crunching on some chips: earplugs, paper cups, and a big plastic sphere over our head.

Rebecca noticed the earplugs amplifies low frequencies, the cups amplify medium frequencies, and the sphere amplifies high frequencies. Chips sounded crunchier in a sphere!

Being conscious of the sound of our eating helped us slow down and be more mindful. There are also many benefits to eating slower, both for our teeth and our digestion! Between our passion for food, playing together with our peers and working on this project, we’ve hit all 4 P’s of the creative learning pedagogy.

Fun facts:

  • @Saffana pointed out that eating and making noise are usually frowned upon in libraries. So this is definitely an activity for the rebellious librarian!
  • If you’re looking for a book connection, @clarahendricks recommends “I hear a pickle” by Rachel Isadora.
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I totally want to a Beta test with kids at my library! I do a monthly STEAM Explorers where we read a book and do a related activity! I do one session with home-schoolers during the week and one on the weekend for public school kids. I am guessing I will see around 50 kids and their parents! I am working on my spring quarter plans for Mar.-May. How can we sign up!


What about a “wristband?” I thought of an Apple watch used to monitor health. A strip of paper, circle, brass fastener, paper clip, and tape!

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Hi Phyllis! We’ll have this activity polished up by the end of this year. For your spring plans, we can send you a PLIX kit to try out this activity with your patrons. How does that sound?


Woo hoo! I would love to!


Awesome. I reach out to you before the end of the year.

Ooh, this sounds like a great program. If you have the time, would you be wiling to share some of your previous programs? Also do you do anything different for the homeschooling and general public audiences?

This iteration of the program has been rebooted to start in December. The topics planned are:

Biomechanics-based on this lesson paired with “If You Could Jump Like a Frog” by David M. Schwartz.

Balance-We are experimenting with balance to create mobiles based on the art of Alexander Calder. The book will probably be the Venezia biography.

Electricity-we are reading this biography of Garret Morgan and making this paper circuit project.

The program is for children and parents to attend and experiment and learn together. I hold homeschool sessions during the week during the day and require registration. I hold the other sessions on a Saturday and do not require registration. This is for convenience and due to expected demand. I always have toys in the room for younger family members to play with while the programs takes place. The program targets elementary grades.

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Thank you for sharing more about your program. I appreciate that you do the “hybrid” arrangement of a mid-week program for homeschoolers that requires registration and a weekend program that’s open to families that drop in.

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Where can I find the zine to print out?

Where on earth did you find the dome? That is fantastic!!
I can’t wait to do this program. It’s scheduled this month!